Whimbrel at Ardmore Point 17th April

We've been up visiting relatives in Glasgow this weekend but that allowed a morning's sortie along the Clyde. I normally head around the south shore - we'd been to Gourock yesterday and besides a rather large submarine, we saw a single Gannet and Shag as well as several Red-breasted Mergansers and a few Red-throated Divers.

So this-morning I headed along the north side past Dumbarton to Ardmore Point, a peninsula that juts out into the Clyde opposite Port Glasgow/Greenock. The sound of Willow Warblers filled the air wherever I went. A Song Thrush was pounding out its song in competition with 'kleep'ing Oystercatchers whilst Shelducks flew around laughing at each other.

Out in the Clyde, I picked up on three Slavonian Grebes - just a bit too far away to appreciate their summer finery - and loads of Red-breasted Mergansers. A single Shag, a couple of Red-throated Divers and several Common Gulls were floating around off the southern end of the peninsula where I also found a Wheatear.

Still, Willow Warblers abounded whilst Greenfinches, Redpolls and Goldfinches joined in. Then there were Blackcaps, Chiffchaff, Wren, Robin - a veritable auditory feast and evidence enough why the hobby we enjoy so much is best described as birding rather that bird-watching.

Anyway, I made my way around the northen side of the point and into the bay where a flock of six White Wagtails fed actively right in front of me. Of course I could have got great photos if I had had my camera, but sods law dictates that you'll get great views when one is bereft of photographic equipment! The birds didn't stop there as I picked up a couple of Whimbrels in amongst a roosting flock of Curlews and then I heard the distinctive call of two Sandwich Terns (my first of the year) as they came in to circuit the bay before heading off elsewhere. I had a good chat with a  local birder who's come down to do the WeBS count for the site before I headed off to the sound of the Whimbrels.

This afternoon, we had a walk through the woods at Endrick Mouth NNR on the south-eastern shore of Loch Lomond. Again, lots of Willow Warblers as well as a single Redstart, several Goosanders and a host of lovely spring flowers  - Lesser Celandine, Dog Violets, Wood Anenome and Wood Sorrel to name but a few.

It's been nice to get up here again but it's back home tomorrow.


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